November 30, 2022

Southwest Power Pool releases detailed proposal for western energy market

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) published a detailed proposal for its Markets+ service Nov. 30, 2022. SPP will begin engaging the parties who already expressed interest in committing to Markets+ in December to formalize contractual commitments for phase one. Parties interested in committing to funding further market development must sign a Markets+ Market Participant Phase One Funding Agreement by April 1, 2023.

Markets+ is a conceptual bundle of services proposed by SPP that would centralize day-ahead and real-time unit commitment and dispatch, utilize hurdle-free transmission service across its footprint and pave the way for the reliable integration of a rapidly growing fleet of renewable generation. For utilities that see value in these services but who aren’t ready to pursue full membership in a regional transmission organization (RTO) at this time, Markets+ provides a voluntary, incremental opportunity to realize significant benefits.

“Collaboration with western stakeholders to design the Markets+ service offering has been a tremendous effort,” said SPP President and CEO Barbara Sugg. “Thanks to the dedication and engagement of these entities over the past year, I’m confident we can design and deliver a market that addresses challenges unique to the region and provides value to western customers.”

Since December 2021, SPP has worked with western stakeholders to learn what they’d like to see out of its proposed day-ahead and real-time market. SPP staff collaborated with potential customers in a series of webinars and in-person meetings to develop the Markets+ service offering, which details how the proposed service addresses things like governance structure, market design and transmission availability.

The final service offering contemplates a two-phase process for the continuing development of Markets+. In phase one, potential participants and stakeholders will financially commit to design the market protocols, tariff and governing documents. Phase two begins upon Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval. In this phase, SPP will acquire necessary software and hardware while participating entities fully commit to fund and are integrated into the system.

On Nov. 7, SPP announced the 2023 implementation of major components of the Markets+ governance structure and the exploration of a transitional real-time balancing market in 2024. Earlier this year, SPP received letters of intent to participate in the next phase of Markets+ development from several Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest entities.

Meghan Sever, 501-482-2393,